WDFW News – Commission to Hear Public Comments on Columbia Salmon Policy at Oct. 15 Meeting.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take comments on the results of a 5-year-old policy that significantly changed salmon fisheries on the Columbia River at an upcoming meeting in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will review the report that provides outcomes of the salmon policy during a special meeting Oct. 15. Commissioners also will hear panel discussions and take public input on the report.

The meeting, which begins at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 15, will be held in the Capitol Room of the Doubletree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way N., Olympia. More information about the Columbia River briefing can be found in the online agenda at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

The Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, approved by the commission in 2013, was designed to promote orderly fisheries, wild salmon and steelhead conservation, and economic stability in the state’s fishing industry. Strategies for achieving those goals included allocating more salmon to sport fisheries, promoting the use of alternative fishing gear in commercial fisheries and increasing the production/releases of salmon in the off-channel areas.

The new report assesses the results of these and other provisions of that policy.

Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant who helped draft the report, said the report doesn’t identify new ideas or adjustments in the policy.

“The report is simply a tool to help commissioners evaluate whether the policy has been a success,” Tweit said.

The 60-minute panel discussion on the Columbia River salmon policy includes representatives from conservation organizations as well as commercial and recreational fishing groups.

In other business, the commission will consider a change that would allow recreational crabbers to set pots two weeks earlier than usual in most areas of the state’s Pacific coast.

Later in the day, commissioners will have their annual meeting with the governor.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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